• African Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup


Classic Ethiopian Soup

By Rebecca Katz

At first glance, the main ingredients in this recipe may seem like a totally random (and somewhat odd) combo, but it’s actually a classic Ethiopian soup. It will have your taste buds rockin’ and rollin’ thanks to berbere, an Ethiopian spice mix. Traditional berbere has about thirteen (!) spices; I shortened that down to a more manageable number of spices, but you’ll still get that spicy-sweet-hot tension. The sweet potato here is like the grand marshal of the parade, pulling all those spices and veggies into cohesion to provide a sensational experience.

Recipe from Clean Soups by Rebecca Katz.

African Sweet Potato & Peanut Soup


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • Sea salt
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
  • 6 cups Magic Mineral Broth (recipe below)
  • 2 pounds garnet yams (sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more if needed
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, for garnish

Magic Mineral Broth

  • 6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds
  • 2 unpeeled yellow onions, quartered
  • 1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds
  • 1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds
  • 4 unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quartered
  • 1 unpeeled garnet yam (sweet potato), quartered
  • 5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved
  • 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 (8-inch) strip kombu
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole allspice or juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 quarts cold, filtered water, plus more if needed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more if needed



Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat, then add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the bell pepper, garlic, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne and sauté for 1 minute more. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice and the peanut butter. Pour in 1/2 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the bottom, and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.

Stir in the sweet potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and the remaining 5  1/2 cups of broth. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to medium, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Ladle 3 cups of the soup into a blender and process for 1 minute, or until velvety smooth. Stir the blended mixture back into the soup and cook over low heat just until heated through. Stir in the lime juice. Taste; you may want to add a generous pinch of salt or a bit more lime juice. Serve garnished with the cilantro and peanuts, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Magic Mineral Broth


Rinse all of the vegetables well, including the kombu.

In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onions, leek, celery, red potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, garlic, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaves. Add the water, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for at least 2 hours, or until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted. As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out.

Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve (use a heat-resistant container under­neath), and discard the solids. Stir in the salt, adding more if desired. Let cool to room tem­perature before refrigerating or freezing. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

CREDIT: Reprinted with permission from Clean Soups, copyrighted by Rebecca Katz with MatEdelson, 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Photographs copyright © 2016 Eva Kolenko

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